Lavonte David reveals how early Buccaneers were planning on signing Tom Brady

It might have come as a surprise to some, but the Bucs had been planning on signing Tom Brady all along.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

For the first time in a very long time, there's a level of stability with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that we aren't used to seeing.

This is a franchise that has endured more darkness than it's spent time in the light, but the bright spots have been absolutely incredible. The drudge through the late 80s and early 90s paid off with a Super Bowl in 2002, while living through the Dark Ages of the 2010s ended with yet another title.

It doesn't get more extreme than that when it comes to living through the highs and lows of fandom, which is why it's always so unexpected when it happens to the Bucs.

The most recent Super Bowl falls firmly into that category, as nobody expected the hard pivot away from being awful to winning a title. Well, nobody except those in the Bucs front office. Signing Tom Brady was a major plot twist that fans aren't used to seeing, but it was one that had been brewing for quite some time behind the scenes.

Lavonte David said Bucs planned to sign Tom Brady as early as 2019

While sitting down with Rich Eisen this week, Lavonte David touched on what it was like to bring in Brady and just how early the plans were being made.

David said he was looped in on the possibility of the Bucs making a run at signing Brady in his exit interview after the 2019 season, which means it's something that the front office had been thinking about well before tat point.

“I just remember in the exit meeting, talking to Coach [Bruce Arians],” David said. “You know, you have a one-on-one with the head coach. I just remember him saying, ‘If we don’t get Jameis [Winston] back, we are going to get someone in here for you to get us over the hump … get us to the Super Bowl.

It's not too surprising that the Bucs were already thinking about Brady pretty far ahead of the offseason. The team was coming off another season where the defense led the charge but was constantly let down by the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Jameis Winston's game.

Lars Anderson touched on a lot of this in his excellent book A Season In The Sun, which detailed the connection Licht had with Brady from his days with the Patriots. We've heard varying degrees of modesty when it comes to re-tellings of how the Bucs ended up with Brady, but this story from David serves as further confirmation of just how locked in the team was on bringing in the GOAT.

David getting looped in on what was happening says more than just how prepared the Bucs were to make a run at Brady. He's been a free agent each of the last two seasons yet has returned to Tampa Bay despite tons of speculation that he was going to leave.

That didn't happen, and his refrain the entire time was about how much he loves the Bucs and wants to retire after having spent his entire career in Tampa Bay. This proves that the feeling is mutual and David is as important to the franchise as anyone else.

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